China’s state-run Global Times on Monday gloated that Twitter’s ban of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) proves the Chinese Communist Party’s point that “freedom of speech” is an illusion, so Americans are hypocrites for criticizing China’s vast censorship apparatus.
Rep. Greene’s personal account was permanently suspended from Twitter on Sunday for “repeated violations of our [Chinese coronavirus] misinformation policy,” according to the company. The tweet that prompted Greene’s suspension included a chart of allegedly high “Covid vaccine deaths” that was based on “unverified data” and drawn in a misleading way. Facebook suspended Greene’s page soon after Twitter took action against her.
To the Global Times, these bans – plus Twitter’s suspension of Donald Trump’s account when he was the sitting president of the United States – were proof that America is hypocritical for objecting to China’s supposedly more rational and orderly system of state-imposed censorship:
“From Trump to Greene, the permanent ban on their personal Twitter account indicates that in the US, there is no absolute freedom of speech either. There are clear boundaries on freedom of speech. The voices must conform to laws and regulations and cannot impair national interests,” [China Foreign Affairs University professor Li Haidong] said.
But the US has played the old trick of double standards on freedom of speech. Chinese social media platforms’ suspension of some personal accounts, or the closure of some media outlets in Hong Kong such as the Apply Daily comes from the same considerations taken when Twitter banned Trump and Greene – their contents violated China’s law and regulations and posed potential threats to national security, social stability and normal order.
Ironically, when banning these personal accounts, the US defends its actions with a legitimate explanation; while China adopts similar practices, Washington portrays them as “suppressing speech freedom,” or committing “human rights violations.” Applying double standards in such a way is despicable.
#Opinion: When banning personal accounts of Trump and Greene, the US defends it with a legitimate explanation; when China adopts similar practices, the US portrays them as “suppressing speech freedom.” Applying double standards in such a way is despicable. https://t.co/crbnJCZHcw
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) January 3, 2022
Apple Daily was the venerable pro-democracy newspaper smashed by the Chinese Communist Party last year, using the totalitarian “national security law” imposed on Hong Kong in defiance of its guaranteed autonomy. The shutdown of Apple Daily began a wave of other dissident media outlets shutting down due to concerns for the safety of their staffers.
The Global Times found it “ironic” that American “elites” think there is a difference between censoring Greene for allegedly “spreading factually incorrect and dangerous information” and the Chinese Communist Party silencing anyone who goes against its “dictates.”
“This is a biased view. All countries have their demands to defend their sovereignty, territorial integrity, national security and interests. But every country also has its own unique political system, social customs and culture. In this context, every country has its own understanding of what kinds of remarks would threaten social stability,” the Party newspaper asserted.
The Global Times editorial should be a disturbing opportunity for reflection by Americans who support the privatized system of censorship and social credit taking shape in their country. The most oppressive regime on Earth just applauded you for finally agreeing with their point of view about the need for speech controls and the superiority of logical authoritarian rule over messy democracy. They just want you to stop pretending that you’re morally superior for subcontracting authoritarianism out to Big Tech CEOs instead of a Politburo.
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